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Lecciones de la guardería

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La zanahoria y el palo: pedagogía resumida

Las parábolas del siglo XXI vienen en formato de estudio sociológico. La historia que os mostramos a continuación apareció en el best-seller de pensamiento divulgado de Steven D. Levitt y Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics, y fue recientemente citada (probablemente no será la primera vez ni la última que alguien la utiliza para ilustrar sus argumentos) por Clay Shirky en su ponencia durante los debates de la Fundación Telefónica.

Para Shirky la anécdota servía para sostener su afirmación de que “la cultura y el mercado conviven en el mismo espacio, pero no conviven pacíficamente”. Para Dubner y Levitt habla de los distintos tipos de incentivos : económico, social y moral. También se podría decir que habla del peligro de la híperregulación, de la responsabilidad ciudadana; se podría decir que es una metáfora de la separación entre arte e industria (cultral, por ejemplo), una lección sobre consultoría política y hasta que es un manual de pedagogía. En realidad, como toda buena fábula, habla de todas y ninguna. Hacedla vuestra, que para eso está.

El original, aquí

“Imagina que diriges una guardería. Has establecido una política que dice los niños deben ser recogidos a las 4 de la tarde. Pero muy a menudo los padres llegan tarde. El resultado, al final del día, es un niño ansioso, y al menos una maestra que tiene que retrasar su hora de salida para esperar a esos padres. ¿Qué hacer?

Un par de economistas que escucharon el problema, que al parecer es muy común, ofrecieron una solución: multar a los padres impuntuales. Por qué debería el colegio, al fin y al cabo, hacerse cargo de esos niños gratis?

Los economistas decidieron probar sus solución dirigiendo un estudio en diez guarderías en Haifa, Israel. El estudio duró veinte semanas, pero la multa no fue introducida inmediatamente. Durante las primeras cuatro semanas, los economistas tomaron nota del número de padres que llegaban tarde. Había, de media, 8 retrasos a la semana por guardería. Durante la quinta semana, se implantó la multa. Se anunció que cualquier padre que llegar más de diez minutos tarde tendría que pagar 3 dólares por niño. La multa se añadiría al cobro mensual de la guardería.

Después de que la multa fuera implementada, el número de retrasos de los padres inmediatamente…creció. Sin que pasara mucho tiempo, los retrasos de media por guardería llegaron a los 20 semanales. El plan había salido, claramente, mal.”

He aquí la fábula de los padres y la multa. ¿Lecturas? Todas

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